The Year of the Pitts: AirVenture 2015 - By Budd Davisson

Right up Front: if you own a Pitts of any variety, homebuilt or otherwise, or if you just love the breed, Air Venture 2015 is the place to be, July 20-26th. It’s going to be a monster gathering of the bi-wing g-pullers and you don’t want friends to come home saying “Man, you should have been there!”

It’s hard to believe it has been 70 years since Curtis Pitts took to the air with his very first “Special.” In the time since, his diminutive little acrobat has carved out a legend equaled by none. And this year the EAA/IAC is celebrating that anniversary by dedicating a portion of the Oshkosh grounds and the activities to the man and the wonderful machine he gave us.

As of this writing, plans are rapidly coming together, but the most important thing is to get the word out. If you’re reading this, and you know someone who owns a Pitts, make sure he/she knows that a gathering of the Pitts faithful will be happening in Oshkosh. Regardless of what else is planned, the basic ingredient for it all will be that special breed of aviator known as “Pitts Pilot” a moniker we all wear proudly, and his airplane. We’re hoping to see at least seventy of our favorite birds parked in a designated area near the IAC building. Can you imagine how cool that’s going to look? 

Among the activities planned is a rebuilding of part of the interior of the IAC building to house a Pitts museum that will reach back and remind us where American aerobatics got its serious post war start. In addition, a sizeable amount of Pitts merchandise is going to be on display. An exhibit in front of the building will feature several different models of Pitts aircraft, going back to their birth. There’s even talk of pulling the replica of the No. 1 Pitts out of the museum to start the line-up off.

Forums will be ongoing in the IAC area that will delve into all areas of the airplane and the aerobatics for which it is known. Although the subjects are still being formulated and presenters are being sought, they will include, but not be limited to, such things as,

            -The Right Pitts for you: explaining the various models

            -Maintenance: problem areas and how to address them

            -Pitts and spins 

            - The Pitts Landing Myth: Anyone can do it…no…really!

            -Pitts Modifications: the good, the bad, the ugly

            -Pitts partnerships: the does and don'ts. 

            -On Buying a Used Pitts

            -Single-hole vs two-place

            -Scratch Building a Pitts: where to start and what to expect. 

            -Curtis Pitts: an original- remembering the man        

If you have Pitts subject you’d like to speak about, let us know.

The IAC always has an annual dinner as part of the convention, but this year a special invitation is going out to those who arrive via Pitts. Plus, it’s going to be inevitable that, as Pitts pilots gather around the IAC building, we’re going to gravitate to the closest hamburger to continue discussing our favorite little airplane.

And then there will be the air show. Although the exact performer list is still literally up in the air, it can be assumed that we’ll be seeing every variation of Pitts we can imagine doing what it does best, being flown by the best.

The best part of the gathering will be the opportunity for the sport aviation world to soak in the aura generated by what will be the largest number of Pitts ever assembled in one place. With so many Pitts pilots in one place, lots of hand-maneuvers will be flown and anyone seeking information about the famous little airplane will find it in abundance.

Pass the word: Oshkosh will be temporarily converted to Pittsburg (or is it Pittsville?) for the week. Be there!

There will only be space for 70 Pitts aircraft, please contact Andrew Ovans at EAA headquarters.  aovans [at] eaa.org  to register, or if you would like more information about this event